As the corona virus pandemic continues to ravage the Federal republic of Nigeria, Nigerians have expressed worry over the fact that the the President’s speech did not touch on financial palliatives and social welfare packages for the citizenry, even though restriction of movement has commenced in several states, although the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces is yet to declare a State of Emergency, it could put paid to the criminality of Political Office Holders. In this interview, the Founder, Spiritual Head of Shafaudeen-in-Islam Worldwide, Prof. Sabitu Olagoke opines that the leadership has a lot to do for impoverished Nigerians. Excerpts :
As a result of the coronavirus pandemic the Federal Government has restricted movement in Lagos state, Federal Capital Territory and Ogun state, while a number of states have done same earlier one, without Financial Palliatives and Social Welfare for the citizenry. What are the implications ?
COVID 19 has exposed the emptiness of humanity and the susceptibility to any environmental hazards ,most especially for when severity clause is attached. Leadership is much tested during the period of human travails and capabilities is best measured in the way conflicts are been resolved for Nigeria, it has always been pathetic records of complaints from the governed against the way the affairs of the country has been handled since the period of independence in 1960.
The efforts of Government at all levels is always a case of no proactive measures and fire brigade games of afterthought. The major problem is that ab initio,we lack the desk of the Think Thanks and we respect less the might of our professionals, whose views, directives and instructions would have come earlier to help government proffer appropriate solutions.
Nigerians now seek God’s intervention in issues pertaining to health care delivery.
Most public hospitals are now designated mortuaries, where Nigerians are left to die, rather than recover from aliments.
Interestingly the citizenry now resort to self-medication and traditional healing therapy as a result of their poor economic status.
Sadly, most health workers lack the requisite skills needed to be proactive on their jobs.
All these put together has resulted in high infant and maternal mortality and the prevalence of several diseases.
In some hospitals, patients are required to buy sachets of water for medical tests.
Government at all levels ought to set goals for a better health care, but this is yet to occur.
Nigerians hope to experience an increase in life expectancy, while also coming to terms with high and substantial levels of immunization against all vaccine preventable diseases and attaining national self sufficiency in vaccine production.
Government has not performed commendably in the eradication, control and prevention of epidemic diseases. Why ? The corruption and rot in the system. Perhaps.
Indeed, it is possible for the three tires of government to achieve adequate supply of essential drugs to all health facilities, but activities of government officials have become the major impediment.
It is only in an enabling environment, that the government would be able to resuscitate a viable secondary health care system.
Unfortunately, several uncompleted projects characterize health facilities across the country.
Of disturbing worry, is the fact that commercialization of some hospitals’ functions, is strangulating the already impoverished population, just as it is doubtful if existing health policies can take care of exigencies of this present time.
Medical Stores Department(MSD) in Tanzania is set to commence the delivery of medical services and drugs to remote parts of the country through drones.
Thsi disclosure was made byt the MSD Director, Laurean Bwanakunu, in a chat with journlaists.
“We will soon announce tender for the company that will enter into agreement with MSD to supply the drones''.Bwanakunu also stated that a pilot project which enables drug-dropping drones to transport life saving blood and medical supplies to Ukerewe Island of Lake Victoria, was already on course.
Health workers in the University College Hospital(UCH)Ibadan, Nigeria have expressed reservations over the insistence of the Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole that their salaries for April and May would not be paid until the leaders of their unions apologize for embarking on the suspended strike action.
The UCH health workers made this known through the Chairman of the National Union of Allied Health Professionals of Nigeria(NUAHP)UCH branch, Comrade Oladayo Olabampe.
''The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole has said that the two months salaries owed workers in the UCH would onlybe paid, when our union leaders apologize for the strike action that has been suspended. But we are not ready to apologize. The strike action was legal''.
''However, salaries for 17 days in April has been paid, remaining 13 days , while May salaries are yet to be paid. The five unions in the health sector are working tirelessly to ensure that salaries are paid'', Comrade Olabampe disclosed
Govt. Has Failed in Its Responsibilities-AWC
Health workers in Nigeria have clarified that the ongoing indefinite industrial action was embarked upon to compel the Federal Government to meet their demands, just as they insisted that they have no dispute with any Non Governmental Organization.
This clarification was made in a chat with Federationews2day by the spokesperson of the Oyo state council of the Joint Health Sector Union(JOHESU), Comrade Olabode Akinfenwa.
''We are not in dispute with any Non Governmental Organization(NGO), we are in dispute with the Federal Government. Also, we are not aware of the National Industrial Court Judgement. We have local issues that are yet to be addressed by the Oyo state Government. There is preferential treatment in the health sector'', Comrade Akinfenwa noted.
In the same vein, the All Workers Convergence(AWC) has attributed the indefinite strike action embarked upon by health workers in the country to the fact that government at all levels have abandoned their responsibilities. It only shows how irresponsible government is. Is it a Non Governmental Organization(NGO) that will intervene in such a sensitive issue that has to do with the health of Nigerians. Even the NGO cannot be trusted. It might likely have an ulterior motive. Government in Nigeria has lost its sense of Justice and equal rights''.
This position was made known by AWC's National Coordinator, Comrade Andrew Emelieze.
''Painfully, it is the traveling out of President Muhammadu Buhari, for medical consultation to London, when the health sector has been grounded by a nation wide strike, that is making its suspension difficult, even though the President traveled out to save his life. For us, in AWC, this act is not only irresponsible, but callous'', Comrade Emelieze noted.